By Dr. Chaim Wakslak
On July 4, a newly designed sensory room with state-of-the-art sensory equipment was dedicated by the Worgon, Framowitz, and Porat families at the HASC Center Day Program located at 1221 East 14th Street in Brooklyn in memory of Judy Klein, a’h, a beloved family member.
This new therapeutic area combines a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses through the use of lights, colors, sounds, sensory soft play objects, and aromas, all within a safe environment. The multisensory room allows the person using it to explore and interact without risk. This type of an environmental experience is aimed at changing how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight, and movement and is particularly beneficial for individuals who are on the autism spectrum. Hadassah Halberthal, day habilitation supervisor, is credited with designing and implementing the construction of the new HASC Center addition.
This tribute is dedicated to the memory of Judy Klein, a’h, a woman with developmental disabilities. Judy started at HASC when she first attended the HASC pre-school program followed by her participation in the HASC Center educational and vocational programs for a period of over 50 years. The family wished to express their gratitude for the care, love, and enhancement of Judy’s overall quality of life by giving HASC Center a new venue where they could help others maximize their potential.
A brief but poignant ceremony took place to inaugurate the sensory room. Shmiel Kahn, executive director of HASC Center, welcomed all of the assembled, which included many members of Judy’s family. He recalled the dedication of Judy’s parents, who in the late 1960s were insistent on finding a school program that addressed both her educational and religious needs. Their dedication was manifested by their self-sacrificing commitment to drive Judy to the HASC school rather than avail themselves of the public school program that would have included transportation services.
Susan Aranov spoke at the event and shared her memories of Judy’s friendship by emphatically declaring, “Judy was my best friend. I miss her so much.” Several of those assembled also recalled Judy as one who was loved by all. She always had a bright smile on her face, particularly at parties where she crafted gifts and distributed them to everyone she knew.
Others remembered Judy as being an integral part of every HASC Center drama presentation. Judy was a phenomenal actress, as drama was Judy’s favorite activity. Another talent and activity that Judy adored was art, and she especially loved to paint in the company of Teril Buxbaum. At the ceremony Teril Buxbaum presented Judy’s family with a beautiful painting that she and Judy drew together.
Rabbi Salgo, rav of HASC Center, gave divrei berachah, pointing out that the actual meaning of the word “chaver” is “connection,” which is exactly who Judy was, a person who had a connection and a special relationship with all of her friends. May her neshamah have an aliyah.